Ziyard Weathers Storm to Win EPT Loutraki

Zimnan Zayard. Photo: Neil Stoddart, PokerStars blog

Another British poker pro has won another big tournament on the European Poker Tour.

This time, however, it isn’t Sam Trickett or Jake Cody but 25-year-old pro Zimnan Ziyard, who outlasted 335 other runners to take home the first-ever EPT title awarded in Greece.

The Eastbourne, UK native takes home €347,000 for the win - almost triple his career live tournament earnings of $171,000.

The chip leader coming into the day after crushing on Day 4, Ziyard took charge early on at the final table but eventually had to come back from a 7.2-2.8 million chip disadvantage against German Hauke Heseding heads-up for the win.

All told the final table lasted 13 hours with three-handed play taking five full hours of play and the heads-up duel lasting two hours.

Much of the heads-up battle was back and forth with the chip stacks so even that on the final hand only one extra big blind in his stack was enough to give Ziyard the title.

"I feel great. It was a very tough day," Ziyard told the PokerStars blog shortly after his win.

"I had an easy run the first few days but this was totally different. It was definitely the most challenging table I've ever played."

Two Greeks made the final table with Charalampos Kapernopoulos finishing in seventh and John Taramas finishing third.

The rest of the final nine and their payouts:

1. Zimnan Ziyard €347,000
2. Hauke Heseding €221,800
3. John Taramas €134,400 

4. Florian Schleps €100,800
5. Pierre Mothes €67,200 

6. Andras Kovacs €53,700
7. Charalampos Kapernopoulos €40,300
8. Mario Puccini €27,000

Big name players to cash but bust short of the final table included Rupert Elder (13th - €12,100), Jude Ainsworth (31st - €7,400), Kevin MacPhee (40th - €7,000) and David Vamplew (40th - €6,600).

The next stop on the European Poker Tour is a five-day €5,300 event in Prague, Czech Republic from December 5-10, 2011.

Follow the action live on the PokerStars blog.

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